What is the historical context of the rope ?

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iklan100 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Valedictorian

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'The Rope', written probably circa 211 BC, is a play by the Roman author Plautus. His social comedies and farces, part of the 'New comedy' popularised in Rome, were quite well known and widely enjoyed in his own day.

I shall not go into details of the story and plot, as I am sure you are reading the text as part of your study; however, we may briefly evaluate the historical contexts in these two main points below:

1. The importance of comedy and its performance at the 'ludi' (Roman festival games)-- most of such work as Plautine comedy was in fact shown/performed at the old religious rituals and festivals, when special 'games' were held/organised. Thus, the plays had to be performed on a temporary stage with little public seating, according to status, and generally catering to vulgar public tastes, which were required to have, in comic terms, a stock plot, bady innuendos and actions, many interesting and laughable characters also of a 'stock' or typicalĀ  nature (eg a lusty old man, a clever slave, several kinds of women's roles including courtesans, maidens, slaves, matrons etc).

2. Socio-political conditionsand language codification- - Due to the socio-political conditions prevailing at the time, Plautus's language and style is generally very complex and 'codified' i.e. with lots of difficult/obscure references to people and popular figures of that time, and lots of wordplay, puns, and similar linguistic effects. When this play 'The Rope ' was written, Rome itself was a state undergoing war i.e the Punic War of 218-201 BC was well underway and references and allusions are also made in Platus's work/s to this state of emergency that lasted for so long.

I hope this helps. For a detailed summary of the play's story per se, see the second link below. Good luck

Sources:

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